The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Recent reviews – Clifton, Hall, Di Grado, Van der Vliet Oloomi, Rain and Cooney

Here are a few reviews to round out your reading selections for 2012:

clifton“The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010,” by Elizabeth Lund – “If you missed The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010, published earlier this year, do yourself a favor and buy a copy of this stellar and important volume. Included among the more than 700 pages are all 11 of Clifton’s published books, 69 unpublished poems, a foreword by Toni Morrison, and a brilliant analysis of Clifton’s work by prize-winning poet Kevin Young, who co-edited the work with Michael S. Glaser, Clifton’s friend and colleague for many years at St. Mary’s College. Each of those elements contributes wonderfully to this essential collection.” The Christian Science Monitor

eaglepond“Christmas at Eagle Pond,” by Donald Hall, Reviewed by Nicholas Mancusi – ” In his slim new Christmas at Eagle Pond, former poet laureate Donald Hall strips the Christmas story down to its barest essence and shows that the true essence of the holidays is perhaps less about sending Tiny Tim for the biggest turkey in the square and more about trying to capture a particular sense of memory, both collective and personal, and a yearning for connection to eternal mysteries.” The Daily Beast

acrylic“70% Acrylic, 30% Wool” by Viola Di Grado, reviewed by Katheryn Lang, –  “When she began her grim tale, Camelia told us, “This is not a love story, however much it would like to be.” What keeps the reader turning the pages despite the gloom of the novel’s events is the inventiveness of Di Grado’s language. Her extravagant metaphors and similes mostly hit their mark. For my taste, however, there’s just a bit too much imagery involving vomit, cutting, holes, blood, semen and death.” The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Keeler“Fra Keeler” by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, reviewed by Jenny Hendrix – “Unreliability is central to “Fra Keeler,” Azardeen Van der Vliet Oloomi’s exciting debut from the tiny Dorothy Project imprint. It’s a stunning psychological thriller, a total identification with madness that creates drama without either belittling or romanticizing the insane.” The Los Angeles Times

heatThe Heat of the Sun” by David Rain, Reviewed by Ian Schwartz – “The Heat of the Sun is a sequel of sorts to Puccini’s famous opera, Madame Butterfly, which ends with the forsaken Japanese wife killing herself and leaving her young son to his father, Pinkerton, a former American naval officer who left her. Rain’s worthy novel is a touching, often searing tale of friendship, betrayal and love. His flawed characters are staggering beneath the weight of the past, which they carry like burdens even beyond the book’s chilling, operatic conclusion.” Book Page

janie“Janie Face to Face” by Caroline B.Cooney – “Readers who have followed Janie/Jennie’s story since The Face on the Milk Carton (1990) will be eager to learn how the series concludes in this fifth book. Ever since Janie recognized her face on a milk carton and dealt with the media aftermath, she has been eager for anonymity, and she sees her chance to blend in as a college student in crowded New York City.”  Booklist

“Book Bits” is compiled by author Malcolm R. Campbell, author of contemporary fantasy novels and paranormal short stories.


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